To support our site, Class Central may be compensated by some course providers.

Tinkering Fundamentals: Motion and Mechanisms

Exploratorium via Coursera

students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject STEM
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 5 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 5 weeks long

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

Sign up to Coursera courses for free Learn how

The Tinkering Fundamentals course will offer educators and enthusiasts an opportunity to develop a practice of tinkering and making. We see tinkering as a serious endeavor—one that is generalizable across content and especially good at interweaving disciplines in a way that leads to complex projects and individualized learning opportunities. Tinkering has recently been introduced into the educational field as a potential driver of creativity, excitement, and innovation in science learning. It is seen by many as an effective means to engage in exploring STEM concepts, practices and phenomena. Tinkering typically blends the high and low tech tools of science along with a strong aesthetic dimension that supports children’s (and adults’) self expression.

NB: This is a hands-on course, so you will need several tools and materials to do weekly activities. You are welcome to purchase only what you don't already have—or even better try to scrounge them from surplus stores! We have put together a list of recommended materials, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/motion-materials

For over a decade, the Exploratorium has been developing science-rich tinkering activities for both children and adults. We see tinkering as a fun yet serious endeavor—spanning many disciplines and content areas and fostering connections between art, science, and technology. Learners follow their own path to understanding by investigating tools and materials and exploring questions that interest them. This opens up a wide range of possible answers rather than any specific “right” one, particularly for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects in the classroom. This course centers on activities related to Motion and Mechanisms, which offer a wealth of opportunities for thinking through making.

In this course, we won’t just show you how we develop tinkering activities; we’ll also delve into why. We’ll focus on three important aspects: activity design around specific materials, facilitation strategies, and environmental organization. We’ll also share some guiding principles and learning indicators we’ve developed that can help you integrate tinkering into your elementary and middle-school science program. Whether you’re new to making or a seasoned tinkerer, we hope this course will help you take the next step!

OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING

This is a hands-on workshop, not a lecture-based class. Participation is essential! We want everyone to be making and tinkering together: trying things out, asking questions, sharing ideas, and reflecting together as a community. This is a wonderful chance to tinker and learn alongside people from all over the world and from all walks of life, so don’t be shy!

PLEASE NOTE: We have put a great deal of effort towards creating a supportive space that encourages exploration. We’ll give you a few ways to get started; prompt you to share your own observations and experience as learners, designers, and facilitators; and hopefully spark interesting conversations and discoveries along the way. While it’s not a requirement, we encourage you to take this class with a friend or colleague, or meet with other people in your area: having support or doing activities with others will enhance your experience and help you stay engaged.

This project was funded by generous support from Overdeck Family Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Taught by

Mike Petrich, Karen Wilkinson and Luigi Anzivino

Help Center

Most commonly asked questions about Coursera Coursera

Review for Coursera's Tinkering Fundamentals: Motion and Mechanisms
5.0 Based on 1 reviews

  • 5 star 100%
  • 4 star 0%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

Write a review
  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 7 months ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
Such a fantastic class!!! The videos and the content that the Exploratorium has provided are very instructive and designed to be easy to understand, yet still grapple with the content. As a maker & tinkerer myself, I loved being able to do the activities. Additionally, it was very enlightening from a teaching perspective. I work with young kids in a sewing/art class. This course had informed several projects that I've done with the kids with wonderful success.

I recommend this class in a heartbeat.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free

Never stop learning Never Stop Learning!

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.